MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 4, 2012

Porum school bond issue passes with 68 percent of vote

Porum Elementary school students soon could have more protection from the weather now that voters in the Porum Public Schools district passed a $515,000 bond issue.

Unofficial results Tuesday night showed the bond issue passing 112 votes, 68.3 percent to 52 votes, or 31.7 percent. A school bond issue needs a 60 percent majority to pass.

In a runoff race for Midway Board of Education, seat 2, Gary Duvall had 137 votes, or 53.7 percent to Paulette Barnes, with 118 votes or 46.27 percent.

Porum school officials say they intend to spend the bond money to replace the elementary school roof, build a covered walkway from the elementary school to the bus area and convert a maintenance building into an agriculture classroom.

Porum School Superintendent Rick Antle said the bond issue will not raise the tax rate.

“This shows the community recognizes the need for school improvements,” Antle said after reading unofficial returns from Porum’s single polling place. “They know the elementary school roof is in need of repair. The school is an older building built in five different sections.”

He said water leaks through the seams between each addition.

Antle said the district plans to replace the leaking roof with a sloping metal roof.

The covered walkway also would help protect kids from rain, snow or heat as they walk to and from the bus, Antle said.

The bond issue also funds renovation of the maintenance building into an ag classroom. Antle said he’d like to move the maintenance shop into the bus barn so the district can have an updated ag classroom.

He said ag education is important to Porum students because “we’re in a rural area.”

 Antle said the Porum School Board will have a special meeting in early May to sell the bonds.

“Hopefully, we’ll find some local contractor for the work,” he said.

He said he hopes to have the ag classroom work done by the start of the 2013 school year, but isn’t sure how long the roof and walkway work might take.

“The community really deserves a pat on the back for doing this in a down economy,” Antle said. “They really do care for the kids.”

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

Porum school bond

• Yes — 112, 68.3 percent.

• No — 52, 31.71 percent.

 Midway school board runoff

• Paulette Barnes — 118, 46.27 percent.

• Gary Duvall — 137, 53.7 percent

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